Learning the Holy Quran, slowly

There are literally millions of muslims who learn to read the Holy Quran but they cant understand their reading. If understanding the Quran is a miracle then miracles are to be found in abundance in the Holy Quran, infact the entire Book is  a miracle. From a simple attempt to understand an ayah in surah al-Qiyamah one can stumble into a mountain of thought provoking ayahs in other surahs. In al-Qiyamah Allah swt told His Prophet Muhammad swm not to make haste with the Quran, not to quicken the recitation after hearing from Jibreel (as). Allah swt taught His Prophet (swm) to listen intently to the Holy Quran, so that he (swm) will understand its meanings, which is the true purpose of the Book. Allah swt also reveals that He (swt) will explain what is in the Quran, and that He (swt) will make it easy for the Quran learners to remember the ayas. But all this is linked to the first condition of listening intently, paying extra ordinary attention to it and being mindful of its every sentence.

 TMQ 75: 16 to 19:

Move not thy tongue concerning the (Qur’an) to make haste therewith.

It is for Us to collect it and to promulgate it:


But when We have promulgated it, follow thou its recital (as promulgated):

Nay more, it is for Us to explain it (and make it clear):

The Holy Quran being the Word of Allah swt for all mankind places a demand upon those who believe in it. The demand is to think about, reflect on it and to remember its guidance. There are two concepts of immense importance for understanding the meaning of the Quran. One is Yatadabbar (ponder, mediate, reflect) and yatadhakkar (admonition, advice, teaching, instruction, warning). It is through pondering (tadabbur) that a reader can attain the blessed remembrance (tadhakkar) of the Holy Quran.

(This is) a Book (the Quran) which We have sent down to you, full of blessings that they may ponder over its Verses, and that men of understanding may remember. 38:29.

Allah swt has made the Quran easy for mankind to learn and remember. But we must remember that the Holy Quran is the one in Arabic. For only the Arabic Quran is the original book and others are Translated Meanings of the Quran (TMQ) as it is impossible to make a literal translation of God’s Words.

Verily, We have sent it down as an Arabic Quran in order that you may understand. TMQ 12:2

The Quran reader can take encouragement from the ayah of Allah swt that the Quran is indeed made easy for understanding, so that the reader of Quran can pay heed to it, internalize its meanings, submit to its commands and live by the code of human values enshrined in the Word of God.

Verily, We have made this (Qur’an) easy, in thy tongue, in order that they may give heed. (44:58)
The men of understanding are the Ulool al-bab, the ones who use their intellect and their wisdom for understanding their world. Repeatedly Allah swt tells us to use our brains, our intellect, for it is human nature that without the use of faculty our understanding of situations will remain incomplete. The benefit of using our rational mind is said to be “khairan kathiran” (overflowing benefit) in sura Baqara: 
He granteth wisdom to whom He pleaseth; and he to whom wisdom is granted receiveth indeed a benefit overflowing; but none will grasp the Message but men of understanding. 2:269.

 We are also warned by Allah swt that the worst of all creatures is that who uses not his intellect, his brains which is given to him by God. Such a man will refuse to understand the meaning and message of the Quran because he will close his faculties to reason. His views are shaped by either the lure of the temporal world or the dogma of his religion.

Yusuf Ali
For the worst of beasts in the sight of Allah are the deaf and the dumb,- those who understand not. TMQ 8:22.
Denying the use of our natural intellect (our rational mind) ultimately leads to the worst of all results. Man, by refusing to use his brains, becomes a pawn for others whose real intention is to use him for realizing some ulterior motives. In the past kings wanted slaves for their kingdom, much like factory owners want low cost labors. So long as the slave labors keep mum factory owners will be happy to count profits. In this way the slaves end up worshipping the factory owner thinking he is the provider of their livelihood. Much like the ancient king who was thought to be reincarnation of god by some. This failure of mankind is the worst of all failures. Man submitting to another man is the worst sin in God’s world of freedom and justice.
And they will say: “Had we but listened or used our intelligence, we would not have been among the dwellers of the blazing Fire!”. TMQ 67:10

There cant be many reasons for not reading the Quran with an intention to understand its meanings and to think deeply about the ayas of the Creator. Some mumin may not understand Arabic but that’s not an excuse because the Holy Quran is now available in just about every language out there. The internet has also made the availability of translated meanings and tafseer fast and easy. The only reason which can stop us from pondering over the Quran is our heart. If we tell (program) our heart to approach the Quran for receiving guidance and instruction from Allah Rabbil Alamin inshallah we shall find a magnificent universe of the Holy Quran. To “unlock the heart” is to clear the heart from all confusions and clouds that come in the way between the heart and the Quranic message.

Do they not then think deeply in the Quran, or are their hearts locked up (from understanding it)? TMQ 47:24.

Those who encourage not others to learn the meaning of the Quran are doing a great damage. On the day of Judgement man will be questioned and he will blame shaitan for leading him to the wrong path. The Messenger (swm) will then answer that his people, i.e muslims, took this Quran for foolish nonsense. Muslims did not ponder over it, did not think about its message and so they could not get any blessing or wisdom from it. They made the Holy Quran “mahjoor” by not understanding its meanings, guidance and commandments.
The sahaba kiraam understood the Holy Quran like no other generation since. They would take a few ayas from the beloved Holy Prophet (sm) and then practically live those ayas in their lives. Their memorization of those ayas was hand in hand with their observance and obedience to the same. Their hearts were inclined completely to the Quran and they made the establsihment of the Quranic character in their lives the most important role. Allah swt granted them victory after they had grasped the Quran in their hearts.

Peace and blessings be upon the Holy Prophet Muhammad (swm) and his beloved family and his noble companions.

“He did lead me astray from the Message (of Allah) after it had come to me! Ah! the Evil One is but a traitor to man!”

Then the Messenger will say: “O my Lord! Truly my people took this Qur’an for just foolish nonsense.”  TMQ 25:29-30.

One thought on “Learning the Holy Quran, slowly

  1. Pingback: religion: the study of language « power of language blog: partnering with reality by JR Fibonacci

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